MTS, Manitoba’s leading telecommunications provider, today announced that as part of its overall 2013 network spending program, more than $40 million will be invested in upgrades and enhancements in its rural telecommunications infrastructure. Along with normal operating investments to add capacity and service new customers, part of the 2013 network program includes investments to make the latest wireless and broadband technology available to more Manitobans living in rural areas of the province.
“We’re pleased to share our 2013 plans to expand and enhance communication services in rural Manitoba,” said MTS President Kelvin Shepherd. “MTS is committed to bringing technology advancements to more rural communities in 2013, with over 40 per cent of our network spending program invested in supporting and expanding our rural networks this year.”
In 2013, MTS plans to enhance its wireless services in rural Manitoba by investing in both additional capacity and new technology. MTS is pleased to announce it is expanding its 4G LTE wireless network to six more communities in 2013, including Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, Steinbach, Ste. Anne, Victoria Beach and Grand Beach. MTS customers in these communities will enjoy faster speeds while surfing the Internet, downloading content and streaming videos and music. LTE is known as the gold standard in wireless technology and is currently available to 60 per cent of Manitoba’s population, including Winnipeg and Brandon.
LTE technology complements and builds on MTS’s 4G HSPA+ wireless network, which provides wireless coverage to 97 per cent of Manitoba’s population. This year MTS also plans to augment the capacity of its extensive 4G HSPA+ wireless network throughout the province, ensuring that customers continue to have access to fast and reliable wireless data and voice services.
MTS is also bringing fibre-to-the-home technology, also known as the MTS FiON® Network, to an additional 5,000 homes throughout the province. MTS has launched fibre-to-the-home in nine rural communities and plans to expand to three more communities in 2013, including Beausejour, Lorette and Stonewall, with further communities planned for 2014. The MTS FiON Network is the powerhouse behind the award-winning MTS Ultimate TV® service featuring over 420 channels, a wide variety of informative and entertaining apps, and access to Video on Demand and Pay-Per-View events. Approximately 20,000 homes in Manitoba outside of Winnipeg currently have access to the MTS FiON Network.
MTS will also bring MTS’s DSL-based high-speed Internet service to 20 new communities, adding to the 195 communities already connected. Some of the communities that will benefit from this investment include Wabowden, Buffalo Point, Roseau River First Nation, Fisher River, Langruth, Victoria Beach, Grand Beach, West Hawk Lake, and Falcon Lake.
In addition to investing in advanced wireless and broadband services, MTS continues to invest in basic telephone infrastructure, including providing service to new customers and upgrades of equipment to ensure MTS customers in rural and remote areas continue to receive reliable and economical access to basic telephone services.